So I'm reading all those wonderful comments from yesterday and I feel ... hrumphy. Uncomfortable. Squirmy. Like a squinched up pad. (Since I started last week, and all ....)
And I want to make something perfectly clear.
WE have a microwave. And a washing machine. And a dryer. And two cars. And five bedrooms. And we travel. A lot. And we have movies. A lot.
I'm not against wealth. I'm not even against STUFF. I'm against BUYING stuff when you DON'T HAVE MONEY. And also buying stuff when you never help other people buy stuff who don't have stuff.
That is all.
So to make sure you don't think I'm all holier-than-thou, Ms. Self-Righteous Let Me Just Preach to the World, I'm going to tell you something that will definitely lower myself in your eyes.
My neighbors think I abuse my children.
No. Seriously. It's true.
First let me begin by saying that IN GENERAL Brazilians tend to be on the permissive side of the parenting gap. (Don't get all huffy, Brazilians Who Read This, you know it's true.) I don't know how many times I've been told I'm a bad mother because my kids have nap times. And rules. And I do things like limit sugar intake. Bad, bad mother.
It also helps that my neighbor has only one son, while I have three. And her son is thirty-five years old, while mine are 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and nine months.
So let's go back a few years to when I was potty-training Little Prince. My first. We had talked up the Big Potty, gotten out our sticker charts, bought incentives (read: treats), and we were down to the last diaper. It was time.
The first two days were surprisingly simple. LP was thoroughly excited about being a big boy, and though we had some accidents, he was enthusiastic about the New Deal.
Enter third day.
That morning, he simply didn't want to wear underwear.
I told him in a chipper, saleslady voice that UNDERWEAR was awesome. SO awesome. Diapers are Zero Fun, Sir. He didn't buy it. His voice started to rise and the feet started to tap and I knew we were gearing up for a full on temper tantrum.
And .... he blew.
Above his screams, I informed him that he had two choices: 1) wear underwear or 2) go naked.
I left him to think about his life while I went to get myself and Ouro Branco ready for the day.
Ten minutes go by (all of which were spent screaming - him, not me. Yet.) and I offered him his choices again. Ya know, just in case he forgot. He was disinclined to acquiesce my request. And let me know at the top of his lungs.
Another ten minutes. I offered the choices. Another ten minutes. Choices again. Another ten minutes.
After the fourth negotiation session, I walked out of LP's bedroom to find a man standing in my kitchen.
Understandably, I screamed.
Which scared this man half to death.
He was one of the condominium guards, sent there by our neighbor. She had called to report that I was either abusing my son or had left him home alone.
"No abuse here! Just potty training ...." (*sheepish, watery grin*)
And I still can't look my neighbor in the eye.